West Coast Classics are proud to present a very collectible example of this 1981 last year of the 2nd generation Pontiac Trans Am and a very rare NASCAR Daytona 500 Pace Car Special Edition; one of only 2,000 Pace Car editions built after Pontiac was selected in 1981 to lead the Daytona 500 and as the official Safety Car for NASCAR! This car was powered by the Pontiac Turbo charged 4.9L 301 c.i. engine and was the first Trans Am to enbody 'Recaro' seating. Exactly 2,000 Trans Am Pace Cars designating the Y85 Turbo Special Edition Package were built in 1981 and this is one very fine and unmolested all original example with only some 8,787 (YES - EIGHT THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED!) original miles and it is easy to see why it is considered the 'Last Trans Am with a Pontiac Soul' by Trans Am enthusiasts!
In 1969, the first of the fire-breathing Firebird Trans Am's, named after the Sports Car Club of America's late 60's Trans-American racing series, debuted as a Firebird $725 option package and boasted a potent Ram-Air 400 V8 with heavy duty suspension, steering and brakes and was fated to be a one year only model which went on to keep the Pony Car flame burning strong throughout the 70's virtually all by itself, when most of the other muscle cars either disappeared or dropped their engine displacements! Pontiac had no part in that sell out for its high performance Trans Am motors during the 70's and maintained 400 or 455 cid V8's even as the Corvettes and Camaros dropped to 350 cid and the Mustang down to 302 cid by mid decade.
1981 was the last year of the 2nd generation Trans Am and Pontiac wanted to end this ultra successful run with a bang, so GM released a limited production NASCAR (Daytona Pace Car) edition. This NASCAR edition, like the 1979 '10th Anniversary Edition' and the 1980 'Indy Pace Car Edition', had a two-tone paint scheme with a dealer installed option of lots of wild NASCAR door decals and pinstripes and a windshield PONTIAC decal. The NASCAR edition also had white exterior color paint with black accents, Big Bird decals and NASCAR fender deals and stripes. Also available as a dealer installed option was large 'PONTIAC' white lettering on the top of the windshield to give the car the authentic Pace Car look. The NASCAR edition with all these decals was an exact replica of the Trans Am that paced the 1981 Daytona 500 race - with the official Pace Car related decals available if desired. The only missing items were the roof mounted yellow strobe light and the attached official NASCAR race flags! One other highly striking component of the NASCAR edition were the sharp set of white 15x7.5" turbo cast aluminum wheels! The NASCAR edition, with the exception of the exterior door handles and door locks, did not have any exterior chrome, most trim pieces were painted black and this look would remain popular amongst performance cars throughout the entire 1980's.
The NASCAR edition was way ahead of its competition in handling thanks to its standard beefy WS6 suspension which included 4 wheel disc brakes, a well tuned suspension and P255-70R15 performance radial tires mounted on the turbo cast wheels. The result was a large Trans Am that was nimble on its feet! The NASCAR edition may have seemed similar to a '10th Anniversary' or 'Indy Pace car' edition, albeit with a different paint scheme, until that is you stepped inside the car's plush interior! The familiar Trans Am metal dash and Pontiac Formula steering wheel were there but what made it feel new and totally different from any other Trans Am before or since was due to the cars addition of the new state-of-the-art renown 'Recaro' seats, which not only look awesome but actually hugged every contour of the passengers bodies. No longer would a Trans Am driver or front passenger have the expected back and leg stiffness associated with sports cars traditional sports seats. These Recaro seats even had adjustable rear seat backs, something that no other Trans Am and most performance cars of the era ever had before and the side lateral support ensured that neither driver or passenger would ever slide into the center console or their door again when taking those sharp turns! The rear seats were not Recaros but had the same plush red and black cloth covers and the Big Bird was also beautifully embroidered into the rear seat back. Its truly amazing how spectacular this red and black color scheme makes the NASCAR edition interior look and it would still be the envy of even the most demanding luxury car buyers today! By far the NASCAR edition's interior was the best looking Trans Am interior to ever leave the factory and much to the public's disappointment no other Trans Am could be ordered with this plush interior with Recaro seats.
As for options, the NASCAR edition came standard with most Trans Am options including the highly desirable Y85 package with machine turned silver shifter bezel. With only 2,000 NASCAR edition's produced, they were a hot seller right from the start, with many dealers selling them for well over the sticker price! Although production for the legendary Trans Am marque ended in 2002, from a purist's standpoint, the last true Trans Am in tune with the original Trans Am spirit ceased production in 1981 with the 2nd generation (1970-81), made famous by the 1977 and 1980 'Smokey and the Bandit' movies. GM retired the 301 CID 4.9L Turbo in 1981 and in 1982 the Trans Am had to make so with same Chevrolet small block found in Camaro models from 1982-2002.
The cars options include:
The NASCAR 4.9L 301 V8 Turbo Special Edition Y85 package Pontiac 4.9L 301 CID 4BBL Turbocharged engine with Turbo boost gauges Air Injection System Automatic Transmission Power Steering Power Windows Power Door Locks Cruise Control Floor Console Front Center Air Dam & Front & Rear Wheel Opening Air Deflectors Front Fender Air Extractors Red Instrument Panel Lighting Electronically Tuned Digital Display AM/FM Stereo Radio/Cassette X87 VIN Code and Y85 Package First Trans Am to sport 'Recaro' Bucket Seats Custom Air Conditioning 4 Wheel Power Disc Brakes Recaro T/A Door Handle Insert WS6 Special Performance Package Red Carpeting Digital Display Radio Two Tone Paint; White Lower and Black roof T-Top section with specific stripes Specific NASCAR Decals on front fenders Hood Mounted 3-Stage Turbo Boost Indicator Panel Goodyear Polysteel Radial Raised White Letter Tires 15x7.5 Turbo Cast Aluminum Wheels Limited Slip Axle Tilt Wheel Soft Way Glass; all windows Heavy Duty Battery Electric Rear Window Defroster Removable Hatch Roof Halogen Headlamps
This particular NASCAR Edition Pace Car has PHS documentation and a copy of its original window sticker and build sheet and and original purchase documentation and was obviously always garaged as it still boasts its original color paint and interior and it has had no accidents and there is no rust anywhere! The car has just turned 8,787 very careful and original miles.
The all original factory color paint is in superb condition as is the gorgeous all original NASCAR Special Edition series Recaro seats interior which has no signs of any particular wear and every option is working as it should including the A/C.
This particular model must be driven to be fully appreciated - the car drives as good as it looks with no peculiar shakes or rattles and oozing with the considerable power of it's 4.9 litre 301 Turbo V8 engine! There are no noticeable oil leaks, the transmission shifts smoothly through the gears and the temperature always remains cool.
This is one very unique and rare and ridiculously attractive car and this must surely be one of the very few all original and unabused example's left available, let alone with less than 9K original miles, of this 1981 and last year of production for the legendary 2nd generation Trans Am, the limited edition NASCAR Daytona 500 Pace Cars (1 of only 2,000 produced)! A fully documented and never abused example complete with PHS documentation and original window sticker and build sheet copy!